“In just four months, the president has managed to make El Salvador the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, distribute $30 worth of Bitcoin to all of the country’s citizens via the state-sponsored Chivo app, install 200 Bitcoin ATMs within the country, purchase 700 Bitcoin for the national reserve, and begin to mine the hardest money known to man in a way that is 100% renewable.”

El Salvador Announces Bitcoin City, Plans to Issue $1 Billion In Tokenized Bitcoin Bonds
by Bhushan Akolkar  /  11/20/21

“The Latin American country El Salvador has announced its plans to launch the world’s first ‘Bitcoin City’. Country President Nayib Bukele took the center stage at an event on Saturday, November 20. As per the announcement, Bitcoin City will be initially funded by Bitcoin bonds. Besides, the city planned to the east of the country will get its energy supply from the volcano and won’t levy any taxes except the value-added tax (VAT).

Well, Bitcoin maximalist Max Keiser deserves a special mention on this occasion as he was the first to propose this idea back in June 2021. Back then he said that floating Bitcoin ‘Volcano Bonds’ could help the country to retire from the IMF loans. As per the available details, El Salvador is planning to issue $1 billion in tokenized USD-denominated 10-year bonds.

“We’ll start funding in 2022, the bonds will be available in 2022,” said Bukele. However, Bukele has tapped into two big players – Blockstream and Bitfinex – to issue these bonds. Speaking alongside Bukele, Samson Mow, chief strategy officer of Blockstream said that the binds will pay 6.5% via the Liquid network. Interestingly, half of the “volcano bonds” shall be converted into Bitcoin and the remaining half shall be used for infrastructure and developing the Bitcoin mining facility powered by geothermal energy.

Mow further explained that after a five-year lockup, the government will start selling Bitcoins and pay an additional dividend to investors. As per the Blockstream model, at the end of the 10-year, the annual projected yield could be close to 150% considering Bitcoin’s projected appreciation. Mow further noted that this plan will help El Salvador become the Singapore of Latin America. “The first countries that do this will have a massive advantage. This is the beginning of nation state Bitcoin FOMO,” Mow said, referring to “fear of missing out”. The Bitcoin City infrastructure will be built near Conchagua Volcano which will help to provide energy for mining.”

El Salvador to Float Bitcoin ‘Volcano Bonds’ to Retire the IMF Loans
by Bhushan Akolkar  /  June 13, 2021

“Last week, El Salvador passed the historic Bitcoin law making it the first country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. Soon as the Bitcoin law comes into action in the next 90 days, merchants will start accepting it against their goods and services. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised objections citing legal and economic concerns relating to the new Bitcoin Law. Besides, the IMF also assured that they would grant a $1 billion loans to help the Latin American country to overcome the economic challenges.

However, Bitcoin evangelist Max Keiser has a suggestion to get rid of the IMF loans by floating Bitcoin ‘Volcano Bonds’ backed by future Bitcoin mining revenues. This suggestion came as El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is keen on developing green energy “Bitcoin mining hubs” by using the geothermal energy from the nations 22 major volcanic locations. Last week, the President tweeted: “Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well, that will provide approximately 95MW of 100 percent clean, zero-emissions geothermal energy from our volcanos. Starting to design a full Bitcoin mining hub around it.” Responding to this tweet, George Kikvadze of the Global Blockchain Business Council said: “Dear President Nayib Bukele, 95MW can generate 3 Exahashes which is around 600 bitcoin in revenue per month or $250 mln per year. I am confident with these metrics you can structure a proper JV with credible investors and take care of IMF once and for all.”

Holding no words back, Max Keiser said that Bitcoin is set to take down the central banks and the IMF is the first on its list of targets. Speaking to Express UK, Keiser also predicts that Bitcoin will rise to become the reserve currency of the world and central banking giants like America’s Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are at the risk of being “disintermediated”. Interestingly, Keiser has also proposed El Salvador float Bitcoin ‘Volcano Bonds’ to fund to finance its geothermal Bitcoin mining operations.

Speaking to Express UK about El Salvador’s move, Max Keiser said: “I’ve advised El Salvador to create new ‘Volcano Bonds’ backed by future bitcoin mining revenues to recapitalise their balance sheet and retire the IMF loans. I know of two banks in New York that are working on this now. Property prices in El Salvador are set to triple this decade as several countries in the region; Argentina, Guatemala, Paraguay and others will announce shortly they are following El Salvador’s example”. Keiser has also requested the Galaxy Investment Partners to float $1 billion in Bitcoin ‘Volcano Bonds’ in order to repay the IMF loan.”

“Genesis Mining set up shop in the middle of a lava field”

Volcanic growth for bitcoin in Iceland
by Jérémie Richard  /  March 2, 2018

“At a secret location in the midst of one of Iceland’s breathtaking lava fields stands a warehouse whose non-descript siding belies the fact it is ground zero in a digital gold rush for cryptocurrencies that is burning through more electricity than Icelanders’ homes. Iceland’s combination of fire and ice not only makes it a stunning site to film parts of the medieval fantasy epic Game of Thrones. It also offers a unique combination of cheap renewable energy and free air conditioning that is making it a promised land for those “mining” virtual currencies, including bitcoin, using powerful computers that are voracious users of electricity and throw off lots of heat. And noise. The din from shelves and shelves of computers whirring inside the 400-square-metre (4,300-square-foot) warehouse rivals a jet during takeoff. Unlike the dollar and the euro, bitcoin is not issued by central banks. Instead it is “mined” or created in computer “farms” like this one.

It uses computers souped up with six graphics cards tasked with the heavy lifting of thousands of thousands of calculations needed to solve complex algorithms to process bitcoin transactions and be rewarded with bitcoins in exchange. “It’s possible for everyone to do it at home. There is no one stopping you (and) there are no technical limitations,” said Philip Salter, head of operations at Genesis Mining, told AFP. Last year saw a meteoric rise of hundreds of virtual currencies led by bitcoin, which was fetching almost $20,000 per unit in December as both amateur and professional miners jumped onto the bandwagon. Home miners often use an old computer, have no choice where they operate, and are lucky if they get a fraction of a bitcoin every now and then. Professionals like Genesis Mining need to invest serious amounts to build and equip a facility like this one with a surface area a third of an Olympic-size pool, but which has a much greater chance of catching part of the 12.5 bitcoins created every ten minutes. They can choose where to set up operations, however, and that choice can have a huge impact on their profits as the price of the electricity to power and cool the computers varies considerably from country to country.

Iceland is attractive for cryptocurrency mining because of its cheap electricity, which has the added advantage of being generated from clean geothermal energy. At a 0.065 euros ($0.081) per kilowatt per hour before tax, the cost of electricity is nearly half the EU average. This makes Iceland one of the most competitive nations in Europe after Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia. But Iceland also has an advantage in its average annual temperature is about five degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit), meaning mining farms can for most of the time just suck in cool air from the outside instead of running energy-hungry air conditioners. The power usage efficiency “is really good in Iceland because of the natural cooling,” said Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, director of business development at Iceland’s power company HS Orka.

A growing number of firms like Genesis Mining, which was previously based in Bosnia, have chosen to set up shop in Iceland, which means demand for electricity has shot up. “The demand has been increasing exponentially, especially the last three months,” said Sigurbergsson. The increase has come as the price of bitcoin has plunged from its peak of nearly $20,000 to below $9,000 currently, with analysts saying that the price decline has made operating costs even more of a concern for miners. Salter, who fears the growing competition in the sector, said bitcoin’s “price isn’t a very good indicator on how bitcoin mining industry is doing”. He may not have that much more competition from neighbours as Sigurbergsson said HS Orka “will not be able to supply all the demand” from miners wanting to set up operations. He said his firm is “in the great position of we can pick and choose who we can do business with”.

HS Orka estimates that Iceland’s three largest bitcoin farming companies in 2018 will consume more electricity than the nation’s 350,000 inhabitants. Miners also have another worry: Even a virtual gold rush attracts real thieves. Between December 2017 and January 2018, equipment worth an estimated 1.6 million euros was stolen.”